This article appears in the December 3, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Yemen Convenes Optimistic International Conference,
Defies New Wave of Anglo-Saudi Bombardment
Nov. 27—Yemenis celebrated the country’s First BRICS Day on Nov. 23, convening a conference under the auspices of Prime Minister Abdulaziz Saleh bin Habtour that featured support and participation from international figures, including leaders of the Schiller Institute and the LaRouche movement. The conference, held at the Emergency Medical College, had been organized by the Yemeni BRICS Youth Parliament and its Chairman, Mr. Fouad Al-Ghaffari, a long-time collaborator of the Schiller Institute. The conference celebrated Yemen’s commitment to securing full independence and development by working with the BRICS nations—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—and playing a key role as part of the New Silk Road initiated by China.
The event took place as Saudi air force fighter jets, backed by British and U.S. arms, intelligence, and logistics, were continuing a new wave of bombardment, targeting the capital, Sana’a. This new wave of air strikes followed a major defeat of the Saudi alliance in the strategic Maarib Province, at the hands of the national armed forces and Ansarullah fighters (Houthis).
Yet the Yemeni government considered the event so important that the Prime Minister was joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hisham Sharaf Abdullah, Minister of Culture Abdullah al-Kabsi, Member of Parliament Dr. Ali al-Zanm, Shura Council Member Saleh Sael, and Chairman of the Tribal Cohesion Council Sheikh Dhaif Allah Rassam. The event was also attended by the Vice-President of the General Investment Authority, Khaled Sharaf; the Assistant Head of the Moral Guidance Department at the Ministry of Defense, Brigadier Amin al-Borai; the Vice-President of the Yemeni-Russian Friendship Association, Major General Ali Hashem, as well as various other sheikhs and social figures.
The official Saba News and all other Sana’a-based television channels and official newspapers, including Al-Thawra, have published extensive reports on the event, which convey the deep commitment of Yemen’s leadership to help end the present domination by the Western liberal system, and to free nations to develop. The Prime Minister expressed his thanks to the friends in Russia and China, and to the other speakers who sent messages of solidarity from Germany, India, France, Iraq, and the United States of America.
According to the Yemeni news website Hodhod News (https://hodhodyemennews.net/), Prime Minister Dr. Abdulaziz Saleh bin Habtour praised the BRICS initiative as an “international trend in working to reduce the hegemony of the Western liberal system that was built on colonial culture, acquisition and domination.” The Prime Minister added that “Yemen, as a country and people, is closer to the BRICS countries, which are distinguished by their peaceful approach, non-colonial history and positive attitudes toward the Yemeni people.”
He pointed to the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative, which China launched in 2013, based partially on the so-called Maritime Silk Road that historically emerged from the shores of Yemen, through the ancient Yemeni Incense and Gum Trade Route on land, all the way to the eastern Mediterranean. He stressed, according to Hodhod News, Yemen’s control over the transport and trade routes of silk, incense and perfume, which “enhanced its strength and its regional and international standing at the time.”
Dr. Bin Habtour stressed that “Yemen is at the critical point of achieving peace and freedom, and it will inevitably play an important role in the Silk Road that is being revived by China. Within its framework, qualitative projects are implemented by a number of countries located in its path.” The Prime Minister pointed out that “Yemen, which is located in the heart of the world, will benefit from this the project.”
He thanked “our friends” in Russia and China and all the other speakers who sent video messages from Germany, India, France, Iraq and the United States who, he said, “have fully and explicitly expressed solidarity with Yemen and its people as it struggles to make its decisions independently, and get rid of hegemony and tutelage.”
The host of the conference, Dean of the Emergency Medical College, Dr. Muhammad al-Washli, delivered a welcoming message to the guests and thanked the foreign friends who showed immense solidarity with Yemen.
Role of Yemen in History and Today
The President of the BRICS Youth Parliament, Dr. Fouad al-Ghaffari, delivered a poetic and detailed report on the development of the BRICS, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the role of Yemen both historically and today in the new paradigm of international relations.
He cited Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying, “great times need great architecture,” and Lyndon LaRouche, who argued, according to Al-Ghaffari, that “there is a greatness in the ability to sustain a certain focus over decades, making seemingly small steps along the way and not necessarily making gigantic steps, to take small decisions that lead to an accumulated major breakthrough.” This is very true for the importance and impact of the ideas and decisions taken by the LaRouche movement in the past four decades, and for how such major breakthroughs as the Strategic Defense Initiative and the World Land-Bridge have been developed.
But it is also true of the Yemeni BRICS Youth Parliament which, though a small group of young people, and working under incredible strains of war and economic sanctions, has worked diligently for years with ideas and concepts in collaboration with the Schiller Institute and the LaRouche Movement, to outline a strategy for the whole country. Now, that strategy is adopted by the government itself.
Al-Ghaffari did not stop at economics; he said that “the development of culture is the crucial element of a country’s progress.” The BRICS Youth Parliament has a cultural section focusing on art, music, and even sports. A scientific section studies astronomy and nuclear technology. Recently the government of Yemen decided to establish a national Space Science College and a college for railway technology.
Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, was the first of eleven international guests whose recorded video messages were presented following the opening remarks by the Dean of the Emergency Medical College. She was followed by Tushar Gandhi, great-grandson of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi and Chairman of the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation. The others, following in order, continued with Jacques Cheminade from France. He represented the Solidarité et Progrès Party and spoke as a former French presidential candidate. This author, Hussein Askary, the Schiller Institute’s Coordinator for Southwest Asia, then followed with a video presentation on the history of collaboration with the BRICS Youth on the Yemen Reconstruction Plan “Operation Felix” and the LaRouche School of Physical Economics.
A high-level Russian representation followed with a message from Anatoly Karpov, chess legend and member of the State Duma; Larisa Zelentsova, the President of the International Alliance of BRICS Strategic Projects (BRICS Alliance) sent a video message from Russia, as did Albert Zhukov, founder of the Golden Chariot Transport Award. Purnima Anand, President of the BRICS International Forum, India, also sent a message.
Two messages were sent from the United States, one from Doug and Marsha Mallouk, long-time leaders of the LaRouche movement, and the second from independent candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York, Diane Sare. (The texts of associates of the Schiller Institute are given in full below.)
Zepp-LaRouche was introduced as the “New Silk Road Lady,” in recognition of her advocacy and fame since the 1990s for restoring the Silk Road concept, making it international as the “World Land-Bridge” for economic development for all. She gave a “solemn promise” to the event, on behalf of the Schiller Institute, “that we will always remain your true comrades-in-arms, until you have gained the sovereignty of Yemen, and are truly free.” She noted that, at this time of the eighth anniversary of the New Silk Road launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the initiative is “a more and more influential element in world history. I am sure that Yemen will be an important part of it in the not-so-distant future, and that your organization will have been the decisive element in having accomplished that, and in that way reconnecting the glorious history of Yemen with a hopeful future.” Expressing her affection, she added a personal note of “how proud my late husband Lyndon LaRouche was of your unchanging industriousness for study of his scientific method…. Yemen will be the birthplace of many geniuses, which will transform humanity into becoming truly human.”
Jacques Cheminade, among many points of his message, echoed Zepp-LaRouche in raising an initiative of special importance in the region and internationally. “The Schiller Institute has launched cooperation with all countries in Operation Ibn Sina,” he said, “to bring a modern health system to all the nations of the world, and first to care for people in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Syria, the most criminally and unjustly sanctioned by the Western ruling oligarchy. It is time that the nations of the world realize the incredible suffering that the abominable geopolitical wars have created, and replace them with a policy of entente, détente, and cooperation: as Charles de Gaulle said, a policy of peace through common, shared economic development….”
New Curriculum for Development
These speeches and messages were preceded with a sideline event at which Prime Minister Dr. Bin Habtour received the BRICS Youth Award and the Transport Golden Chariot Award, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hisham Sharaf signed the first copy of the new edition of the Yemeni BRICS Sustainable Development University Curriculum. This 160-page book, in the Arabic language, is a compilation by Fouad Al-Ghaffari of projects and works in economics centered around Lyndon LaRouche’s economic method. Each chapter is focused on a special topic.
A chapter is dedicated to what the authors have characterized as “LaRouche’s Five Keys of Progress,” a reworking of the “Metrics of Progress” chapter from the 2014 EIR Special Report, “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge.” Another chapter is dedicated to that special report itself, which had been commissioned by Lyndon and Helga LaRouche. Another chapter includes a short version of “Operation Felix,” a program for the reconstruction of Yemen. This was prepared in 2018, as a joint project of the Schiller Institute, BRICS Yemen, and the Yemeni Investment General Authority.
Still another chapter is dedicated to the Arabic LaRouche School of Physical Economics, launched by Hussein Askary, and includes links. A notable part of the book presents a general outline of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030, but the case of every goal is elaborated with reference to the LaRouche Five Keys of Progress.
The book also includes many references to Helga Zepp-LaRouche and the Schiller Institute’s resolutions and calls regarding Yemen. The Schiller Institute has opposed this war of aggression against Yemen since the attacks were launched on March 25, 2015. The Schiller Institute insisted that this war was not winnable by the Anglo-Saudi-UAE-U.S. alliance and would only result in mass suffering for the people of Yemen, who had already been considered the poorest among populations in Arab countries at that time.
This First BRICS Day conference is indeed a celebration of seven years of hard work and cooperation with the Schiller Institute and the LaRouche movement, which began when Fouad Al-Ghaffari attended EIR’s release of its Special Report, “The New Silk Road Becomes the World Land-Bridge,” in Washington, D.C. at a press conference Dec. 29, 2014. Zepp-LaRouche was the keynote speaker. After meeting soon afterward with LaRouche associates Doug and Marsha Mallouk, Mr. Al-Ghaffari carried the copy of the report he had purchased back to Yemen to start this new organization to teach Yemeni youth and policymakers about the LaRouche economic method, the New Silk Road/Belt and Road Initiative, and the BRICS.
Only a few months later, in March 2015, the war of aggression was launched against Yemen by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with the aid of the U.S. and Britain. Despite this criminal war and the subsequent, murderous blockade, the BRICS Youth of Yemen have continued their studies and mobilization of government agencies for a future of progress.
The international community is called upon to end this insane war and criminal blockade which have created the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in decades. The solution to the political problems within Yemen is through the return to the national dialogue, which was ongoing and nearing success when the Saudi war was launched.